Does your corporate governance prevent phone hacking?

News Corporation has been making the news (literally).

The News of the World phone hacking scandal and the subsequent parliamentary committee have been a microscopic look into the inner workings of News Corporation, starting at the top with its Chairperson and CEO, Rupert Murdoch. Mr Murdoch’s response to the parliamentary committee was that he did not know of the phone hacking incidents, he was not responsible for the phone hacking incidents, and that the same applied to all of his top executives as well. No one knew – and he was not going to be resigning over it.

Aside from the scandal and public outrage (and the revelation that this may not be an isolated incident or limited to the News of the World only), the big question now rest with News Corporation shareholders – who is running News Corporation?

AND, what did they know or authorise, or what should they have known and prevented when it came to the incidences of phone hacking?

Corporate governance is often management jargon thrown around the board room between directors, but what does it really mean for you and your company? Does it apply to not-for-profit organisations as much as it should to global media empires? Could good corporate governance have saved Mr Murdoch from what he reported as his most humble day of his life?

In the context of providing advice and guidance to companies, corporate governance is more than just a bundle of procedure manuals that get left on a shelf to collect dust and never be looked at. Corporate governance is a culture, a way of life within the company that applies from the very top to the very bottom.

Do you know what’s going on in your business? If not, you’d better find out.

Author: Ern Phang

Ern Phang is the solicitor director of Phang Legal and has practised law since 1998. He has extensive experience in providing legal assistance to small and medium businesses, developing business policies and procedures, and improving corporate management and governance.